Band concert

The high school bands had a concert tonight to let family members hear the pieces they'll be playing at the regional competition next week. K is in two of the three bands so, of course, we were there.

We last heard these kids play around Christmas and the improvement in the intermediate band (the younger kids) was obvious. They were much smoother and seemed (to me) more confident.

There were also a couple of solo and duet performances (although I'm not sure duet is the right word?) which featured pieces of music the performers had written themselves. Very cool.

Here's hoping they do well at regionals on Tuesday!

Posted by Ripley on March 4, 2010 | Link | And then you said (1) | Tags: band, k, music

Vancouver Olympics

Yeah, I'm kinda late on this. Late on everything these days it seems.

So, the Olympics. We watched a lot of the events, nearly all of the gold medal ceremonies, and we ate dinner in front of the TV often. We cheered and clapped and held our breath and, sometimes, shed a tear or two. In other words, we enjoyed the Games enormously.

On the final day, we gathered in the den to watch the gold medal game between Canada and the US. I swear, I have never been so stressed during a hockey game in my life. When it was over, when Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime, every one of us screamed and it was all I could do to not break down in tears.

Although I wouldn't want the Olympics to go on forever, I was sorry to see them end. And I think I can safely speak for everyone in this household and say that, win or lose, we were very proud of all of our athletes.

Posted by Ripley on March 3, 2010 | Link | Tags: hockey, sports

Mid-February, almost

The kids have been laying on the guilt. Every so often, L will say, "Remember when Mom used to blog every day? I miss those days." And this afternoon, when I said I hadn't posted, L&K sighed in unison.

The Super Bowl was kinda fun, especially since I had the Saints. Texting Newt during the game was also fun.

Last night was the science fair at J's school. I learned that Duracell is still the best, California dressing stains are very hard to remove (not sure what California dressing is, unless she meant Catalina?), dogs who take the time to sniff treats prefer Milkbones, and mummified hot dogs have increased circumference and decreased weight.

I'm almost done the fourth book for Canada Reads. One more to go and I don't have a clear favourite yet.

I am disappointed by the lack of snow days this winter.

Posted by Ripley on February 11, 2010 | Link | And then you said (1) | Tags: football, science fair, weather

My birthday

I thought it was particularly rude of Mother Nature to make it rain hard enough that I had to give the kids a ride to school. I'm supposed to get a snow day on my birthday, dammit.

We actually celebrated my birthday yesterday. Ice and the kids decorated the dining room with balloons and streamers and they made a really great dinner for me. Spoiled me with presents, too.

L documented everything with her video camera, from the dinner-making process (which included some dancing) to birthday wishes (even from the dog).

It was a good time. Thanks, guys. :)

Posted by Ripley on January 25, 2010 | Link | Tags: birthday


We went for our annual gift card shopping trip today. It was a long day but everyone seemed happy with what they bought, including a bunch of new Wii games. Went out for dinner, too, which was nice.

While we were at the mall, Ice and I stopped in at the Telus store. They were selling a bag with five tiny stuffed animals, representing some of the creatures from their ads. It cost $15 and ALL of the money is going to Haiti.

Posted by Ripley on January 16, 2010 | Link | Tags: shopping

Fire, part 2

I went downtown with L today and got a look at the fire damage from the other side. A big, gaping hole in the middle of the block. It's sad. And L tells me, from a reliable source, that they're probably going to have to tear down my favourite secondhand store too because it will cost too much to repair. I don't even want to think about that.

The grocery store, which is owned by a volunteer firefighter, is closed until further notice. The restoration crew worked late last night, and for most of today there were seven or eight of their vehicles parked on the street. They've taken down all of the ceiling tiles and they were hauling food out by the cartload and tossing it into dumpsters. I can't see much of what's going on inside because they've papered over the windows.

L also tells me that the other grocery store in town is going to take this store's dairy shipment for the week (or however long) and any money they make from selling it will be given back to the damaged store. I think that's pretty damn impressive.

That part of the street was not opened to traffic until late this afternoon. There are bits of debris on the streets and on the rooftops of other businesses. It made me glad that it's winter so that most of those rooftops were covered in snow.

The newscast that we were not able to see last night was put online today. In it, the reporter said road crews spotted flames shooting through the roof at 6am. This is absolutely not true. First, K went to school at 7am and she saw nothing. Second, who would spot a significant fire and not call it in until 7:30am? And ADMIT that they waited that long?

Posted by Ripley on January 13, 2010 | Link | Tags: fire


If you have a Flickr account, click on any photo to see it larger. They are MUCH more dramatic that way.

The fire siren went off about 7:30am this morning. It woke me up but I didn't think too much about it. Then J came into my room about 7:45am and said there was a fire behind the grocery store. I thought it was probably a dumpster fire and there would be a thin trickle of smoke but I looked out the window anyway. I think the first words out of my mouth were "holy shit".


L heard us talking and she got up and looked out her window. I think those were the first words out of her mouth too.


After J left for school (K had gone before any of this started), L and I stood outside for a bit and took some pictures and video. And then we went upstairs, where we had a better view.


They called in two other fire departments to help. When the ladder truck showed up, I told L that if she was going to have a shower, she'd better do it soon because I thought the water pressure was going to drop dramatically. It never did though.


The fire appeared to be under control by about 10am, although there was still a significant amount of smoke by mid-afternoon. The Salvation Army thrift store was destroyed and there was significant smoke and water damage to other businesses. I've heard that there was some fire damage to the back corner of the grocery store, too.


But I don't know for sure. Thanks to a screwup by either my cable company or the local(ish) TV station (each is blaming the other), the 6pm AND 11pm news broadcasts were not shown here or in surrounding communities.

More photos. And L posted a video on Facebook for those who have access. You can actually hear the building collapse.

Posted by Ripley on January 12, 2010 | Link | Tags: fire